Life in the Express Lane

It's Friday night. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wooo! Partayyy! Back that ass up!

I'm going to get groceries.

You know, in the old days, back when I was still trolling for men, this would be an hour or two before I'd start getting ready to go out. I'd get me some shower wine (that first glass you drink while you're showering. Was that just me?), some music going, my black tights ready cause it was the '80s. And man. You would not see me again until the wee hours of the next day.

Sometimes I miss trolling for men. I don't actually miss any of the men. I'm glad I'm married. I'm glad I'm married to Marvin Gardensalad. Things could have turned out much worse. But I miss the anticipation. Maybe this would be the night I'd meet a prince. At the Hamilton Street Pub in Saginaw, Michigan. Mmm-hmmm.

I miss all the drama. Maybe Cindy would see her old boyfriend and cry in the parking lot all night. Maybe I would make out with Cindy's old boyfriend. Life was full of mystery and sleaze.

Anyway, I have made a list of healthy grocery items that I am going to buy. They include things like yogurt and tomatoes and cheese sticks and water. Somebody hold me back.

Also tonight, after my big night out at the grocery store (what should I wear? Should I put on Obsession or Giorgio?), I am coming home and running three miles to see what my sad pace is. This will give me a starting point for training for this half-marathon. I predict the fastest I can run is 14 minutes a mile. I am not even kidding. I understand that most people could go that fast if they were asleep. Sue me. You've gotta start somewhere.

Talk at you later. After I've busted a move. To the grocery store.

Exercise? Perhaps I Could Exercise Restraint

I got out of work at noon today, and my idea was that I’d get right on that treadmill as soon as I got home.

But of course I was STARVING when I got home, having eaten a banana and a piece of string cheese all day. Really, I need to try harder at the bringing-enough-snacks-to-work thing.

So I made a sandwich with seven thousand vegetables on it (does anyone else use hummus in place of mustard? Because I do and it’s really good) and had some vanilla yogurt and a bottle of water. So then I was ready to go on the treadmill.

But what do you know, Marvin Gardensalad came home early, because he had a dentist appointment. So then I ended up chatting with him (he has no cavities. Go, Marvin), and do you know right after that there was a huge dramatic car accident right outside our house?

Long story agonizingly longer? It’s 5:34 p.m. and I have not gotten on that dingity-dangity-gol-darn treadmill yet. Soon I will say it’s too close to bedtime to go, so as SOON as I write this, off I go. Now I have told on myself so I will be too humiliated not to go on it.

But I do have to tell you about one stupid thing I just did. Really, it’s one of those things you should never, ever do.

To begin this story, let’s look at my hair. If you are new here, you should know that no human, in the history of time, has ever had larger, coarser hair than I do. It’s unnatural. One time in biology in college we had to measure our hair under a microscope, and mine was the fattest piece in the room.

My name is June, and I have big hair. Hi, June.


Okay, yes, this was taken in the ’80s, but still. I have a lot of hair. Look how my cat and I were sort of the same color and hairiness.

Now that we have established the big hair problem, here’s what I did.

I have a male, married friend who really lusts for his coworker. He and I were joking around about it today in an email. Now here’s the part you should never, ever do.

Marvin, who so wishes he wasn’t home today due to that dental appointment, who SO wishes they’d have re-extracted all four of his wisdom teeth instead of coming home early, was haplessly sitting there when I turned from the computer and said, "You can be honest, I won’t care. Is it normal for married men to lust for their coworkers?"

Marvin, who is so, so silly, said, "Yeah, of course."

"Have YOU ever lusted for anyone at work?"

"I don’t know."

I don’t know. If there was ever a ridiculous answer to give.

I don’t know. 

Of COURSE this means there was someone at work he lusted for! Of COURSE there are seven thousand questions I had to ask!

After tormenting him for twenty minutes, I have found out there was an attractive saleswoman at his old job. After sticking pins in him and cutting off his airways for just a few minutes, I also found out…


This was the worst blow possible. I wouldn’t have cared had she had a smokin’ body. Or if she was 20 years younger than me. I mean, of course she had these things. But silky hair? Oh, the deceitfulness.

So now I am pouting, following Marvin around, who is just trying to go on with his life and hoping to find a way to turn back tiiiioome, as Cher would say, so that we had never had this conversation.

I am just saying. You should never, ever ask this question. When I said I wouldn’t care, I actually thought I wouldn’t. It was the silky hair that got me.

Can you exercise your way to thinner hair?

I Can’t Believe it’s Yoga


I just did my yoga DVD. Can you tell? "Namaste" is some yoga word, which roughly translates to "How’s it hangin’?"

We had free yoga at noon at my old workplace in LA and I loved it. Really, the more I talk about my old job in LA, the more I wonder why on earth I agreed to pick up and leave that place.

But I just did yoga. No negativity. I am at one with the world. Really, I am at about 27 with the world. But I’ll do more yoga and work on it.

I forgot that cats love it when you work out on the floor. I have no idea why, but every cat I’ve had gets excited about this. Maybe they think you are trying to become a feline, what with the being on all fours and mewling and such.

However, today I was trying to relax into child’s pose, which basically means you are kneeling face-down on the floor. My cat Ruby, who has asthma, decided this was an excellent time to chew my hair. Which for some reason is a way she shows she loves me. Perhaps she is trying to chew it off in hopes of giving me less hair, which would be nice.

Anyway, I was trying to breathe and relax and be zen and such, and there was asthmatic Ruby in my hair.

"SNURKLE! SNURF! SCHNERK SCHNERK SCHNERK [chew chew chew chew chew] SSHNURK! sneeze!"

Finally, toward the end of the DVD, Marvin Gardensalad came in with a plate of spaghetti. He sat at the end of the couch, four inches from me. "Are you watching Gurpmaloni?" he asked me. Once I copied a meditation CD from a friend, and instead of writing the real name of the meditation instructor on the CD, Marvin wrote "Gurpmaloni Changetremeshu," which I thought was actually her name until I mentioned it to my friend and she went into hysterics.

I was nearing the end of the workout, and we went into Corpse Pose, which many say is the hardest pose to master. You lie on your back, hands at your side, and completely relax. You don’t move. It’s harder than it sounds.

"You look actually dead," Marvin said between spaghetti consumption. "Now I’m picturing you actually dead and I’m getting upset."

So all in all, it was a pretty relaxing evening of stretches, poses, breathing, spaghetti and schnarkling. Namaste.

The Storm that ROCKED North Carolina

You guys. Seriously. They are predicting (don't get scared) one to maybe even TWO inches of snow tomorrow! Woah. Laura Ingalls Wilder and her long winter got nothing on this. They are calling it a winter storm warning. An INCH of snow, folks.

The news is saying they have their backup generators ready. The stores are emptying of milk and bread. They are going to BREAK IN every HALF HOUR after midnight to keep us abreast of this squall.

Okay, yes, I moved here from California, but I grew up in Michigan. One to two inches? That's a nice day in April!

One to two inches. I had no idea Southerners were such drama queens.

On a related note, however, our treadmill is in the back, in the unheated room that houses our washer and dryer. You can see your breath in there. There ain't no way I am running on that thing tonight. I understand that I am wimpy.

But, brrr!

Also? I am afraid I may have made some Almond Joy bars, which came in a mix I bought to supposedly make at Christmastime. Somehow I forgot, as I was busy panicking and breaking into rashes all Christmas, and today there was that mix, staring longingly at me in the shelf. We had baked potatoes and broccoli for dinner, and then I am sorry to tell you we had Almond Joy bars for dessert.

Marvin would take a bite, say, "Holy shit, this is good," then take another bite. I am not talking about during the potato/broccoli portion of our evening.

And finally, in conclusion, in closing, to wrap things up. In a nutshell. Don't you hate it when people say "in a nutshell"? Lastly, will you guys PLEASE stop being afraid that I'll proof your comments? I write write write my small cold heart out, and then do I get comments? No. And I KNOW people are reading me, because my sitemeter spies on you. But so many people have said they fear my proofing them that I am thinking it's a worldwide phenomenon.

Cut it out. No one is paying me to proof your comments, so I am not proofing. Every time you feel intimidated by my stupid job, just remember, I thought it was, "Chug-a-lug, it's driving me mad, it's making me crazy" instead of "Jungle love, it's driving me mad…"

I am not that smart, really.

Love,                                                                                                                                                                                        June

California Rolls on my Waistline

Marvin Gardensalad and I just saw two deer right down the street from us! Oh! They were so pretty. I rolled down the window and said hello and told them I loved them very much. They seemed indifferent to my affections.

Now I am worried that they are cold. Marvin said I could knit them some deerwarmers.

Who delights in his every utterance? Is it Marvin?

Anyway, Big Storm 2008 hit us, with about a fourth of an inch of snow. You can still see the grass. Nevertheless, Marvin’s school was delayed two hours. Yeesch.

Speaking of a fourth of an inch, you know that yoga DVD I’ve been doing? The woman leading the thing is from Australia, and she keeps telling me to stand with my legs a meter apart.

Okay, I am in America. Couldn’t they have dubbed in a normal measurement? Isn’t a meter like a mile? I seriously have no idea. I just stand with my feet apart and hope for the best. Stupid foreign measurements. Hey, I have two Australian readers! Clear it up for me, will you? And don’t make fun of me that I do not know your foreign Australian ways, with your didgeridoos and your boomerangs and such.

Oh, and thanks, everyone, for commenting yesterday! Aren’t you all nice. Now I need you to comment again. Does anyone have any good healthy dinner suggestions? I am having a bagel or a banana for breakfast, I have a can of plain almonds at work, I have a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato for lunch, usually, and carrots and hummus as a snack, but girlfriend is hurting for interesting dinner ideas.

Today we went out to eat at one of the three restaurants that aren’t fast food in this town. Well, there’s a fourth restaurant, but it’s Chinese buffet food, and you could not pay me to go to that bacteria fest. Anyway, we went to a Mexican restaurant and got California burritos, which were on special tonight. Livin’ large. A California burrito has redwood trees, smog and Crips in it. Delish.

So, please advise. Something healthy that does not involve shrimp, cilantro or grapefruit.

Let’s see how long it takes some wise guy to bring out his shrimp cilantro salad with grapefruit pieces recipe.

Chocolate by Death

Once summer, my mother and I were at a fair. There was some sort of fund raiser — I forget now what cause it was — and for ten dollars you could hold a baby lion or tiger, and have your picture taken with it.

I wanted to go so bad, and my mother said no, no, it's getting hot, let's not wait in line. I said please, please let me go.

"If I can hold a baby lion, I'll never be sad again," I told her.

Now, here is the part where I was gonna scan in the photo of me holding the baby lion, because what's funny about this story is that I was 38 at the time, and I know it sounds like I was, you know, four. But do you think I can find that DING and also DANG picture? When I packed up to move here, I put the picture in a book. I said to myself (and don't you hate people who say, "I said to myself, 'Self…' " Okay, stop. Stop now.), I said, this is a good idea. The picture won't get crinkled, and I will find it some day when I am rereading this book.

I just spent the last hour, opening every book in this entire house. I have dust up my nose holes, and my legs hurt from squatting. I cannot find that picture ANYWHERE! I did discover that we own a copy of Look Homeward Angel, though, which I have always wanted to read, particularly now that I am in North Carolina.

This is turning into the longest story ever.

My POINT is that holding that baby lion was the happiest moment of my whole life. I know that is a terrible thing to tell you. I should say it was the day I met Marvin Gardens, or the day I got my diploma or the day I got lipo. But no. Really? My wedding day was a wonderful day*, and it's for sure my best day, but as for moments? Holding the baby lion was really it.

I have, however, been sad since then, and my mother has to point out all the time that I promised her if we stood in that hot line to hold that baby lion, I'd never be sad again. Okay, so maybe I was exaggerating a tad. Has my mother ever met me? Geez.

Today, before I exhausted myself looking for that picture, I got home from my pressing four-hour workday, and I got out of my car and went straight to the mailbox, and I am delighted to tell you that NetFlix sent me not one but TWO DVDs of Six Feet Under, with which I am obsessed. It was all I could do not to squeal.

Just then, a red truck pulled into my driveway, and one of the parishioners at church brought me an enormous piece of dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting that his wife had just made. She made him take me over a piece. Wives are wonderful people.

So, I am sorry to report that I had ANOTHER unhealthy eating moment today, which I know isn't very inspirational of me. I promise I will do better tomorrow and I am going to run today right after Miss Lilly time.

But really? Between you, me and all the other people reading this? Sitting there, eating my dark chocolate cake and watching Six Feet Under? Two things I did not know I would be doing when the day began?

Right up there with baby lion day.

*(Perhaps had Marvin actually looked at me when I walked down the aisle on our wedding day, that might have been a nice moment. But seeing as I looked at the back of his HEAD all the way down, no.) (Oh, he is gonna be so happy I brought this up. This is like how every time I meet one of my father's friends, I waste no time telling them how he cut off all my hair when I was two and had my cat put down when I was six.)

Half Time

So, my book came today. It is a book on running a half-marathon, which by the way I bought on Amazon through dcrmom's blog.

Apparently, if you go to her blog and click the Amazon ad, she gets money for it. It was no skin off my nose, which is a really disgusting phrase, to go to her site to get to Amazon as opposed to going straight to Amazon. In fact, why don't you all save your noses and order your Amazon goods through her site? Let's turn her into a millionaire, simply because it might be fun to watch. What say you?

So, the person who wrote my half marathon book is Jeff Galloway, an Olympic marathoner (me, too) who also wrote the book on running full marathons that I read back in 2000, when I was young and nubile.

When Marvin Gardensalad saw that I bought this book, he said, "Why don't you just read half of your marathon book instead?"

Really, the hilarity. How do I get through the day without stitching up my sides, with that jokester over here?

My plan is to sit around all weekend reading it, which kind of defeats the purpose of training for a half-marathon, so maybe I'll throw some physical activity in there.

I ran on the treadmill again yesterday, and one wonders why I am so dinglity danglity slow. Perhaps I should set up a screen behind me with images of a man chasing me with a knife, or a lion charging me or something.

One time, someone told me this hideous story, and I can't remember who told it to me, but if you are home alone, do not read the next paragraph.

Whoever this woman was, she was home alone in a big house — she may have been house sitting, in fact — and she was upstairs in bed, and in the middle of the night she heard a music box downstairs! Which meant someone was down there and had opened it! Doesn't that just give you chilblains? Isn't that awful? Now, what I would do in that situation is completely freeze, giving the bad person ample time to get upstairs and find me and chop me into mince meat pie. The friend, I recall, called the police and all was well.

Who TOLD me that story? Is it any of my old friends reading this? Because apparently I was so traumatized I blanked who you were. I hope the reason I know this story is not because the friend called ME for help and I am just coming back to reality right now. Which could totally be the case, because, folks, you do NOT want me in an emergency situation. I will get breathless and flap my hands. I will turn into Aunt PittyPat. Do not get ill or die on my watch, please.

Finally, I just figured out that this weekend is the Super Bowl, isn't it? That is why my Google homepage is giving recipes for potato skins, which sounds delicious, and also why every commercial is for large-screen TVs.

I couldn't be more indifferent to sports. Honestly, if you told me Joe Namath was playing, I would totally believe you. It'll be hard to tear myself away from my half-marathon book to watch that game. Wooo! Go, whoever!


I'm sitting here in my pink turtleneck and my dark blue sweatpants, which is a delightful combination and I don't look at all like I should be talking to myself and gesturing wildly while I push my shopping cart filled with old baby shoes and cat litter or anything.

While changing clothes for my run, I remembered I hadn't blogged all day, so it seemed like writing in my health blog was a great excuse to put off running.

I have been keeping up with my Weight Watchers really well. Of course, we are on day two, so let's not give me the Weight Watcher Purple Heart or whatever just yet.

Last night, I had a craving for blueberry waffles, and I had points left, so I made some. Marvin Gardensalad decided that blueberry waffles sounded good at 9 p.m., as well, so he started making some, too. I had my waffles all ready, and as I turned toward the living room, and they FLEW off my plate and right onto Marvin's pajamas. The maple syrup sort of froze them in place.

He was pleased.

I am happy to say that he gave me HIS waffles, as he was suddenly out of the mood for them. They were delish. His pajamas thought so, too.

If I hadn't been eating well all day, I would never in a million years have craved blueberry waffles, by the way. It's just not a food I think of.

That is about all I can tell you, except that I had a delightful time today having tea with one of the women in town. I went over there because her husband accidentally got a letter addressed to him at the church. In fact, it referred to him as "reverend," which was news to both of us. Anyway, it was a gray, rainy day here, and when I brought over the letter, she opened the door to her 1920s Craftsman home, and a fire was burning, and there was dark wood everywhere, and a grandfather clock was chiming and oh! you could just curl up there all day.

She made me some really good ginger peach tea, and we had such a good talk. Turns out we both have always wished to go to Mardi Gras and also to Times Square on New Year's Eve.

When I was in college, all my roommates decided at the last minute to get in the car and drive to New Orleans to go to Mardi Gras. I didn't go because I had a QUIZ. A quiz. Is that the saddest thing ever? Not going to Mardi Gras with my housemates is my biggest regret in life. And you know Mardi Gras at 21 would have been way more fun than Mardi Gras at 42.

We talked about how everyone always tells you you really DON'T want to be in Times Square at New Year's, and the same with Mardi Gras, but neither of us think that is true.

She does not, however, share my lifelong dream to have been a go-go dancer in the '60s. I do not know why not.

So I had a good time with "the reverend's" wife. We are still waiting for him to tell us when he snuck in that divinity school.

Okay, I have told you my life story. I guess I have no choice but to run now.

Episcopalians Gone Wild

Last night, Marvin and I went to a Mardi Gras party given by a member of the church where I am a secretary. It is the first party we have been to in exactly six months — the last one we attended was our going-away party in Los Angeles.

It was so much fun! Who knew your church members could throw down? Everyone came in costume, and there were beads and masks everywhere, and people drank and laughed and told funny stories.

I didn't know that in the South, you actually show up at the party on time. For those of you on the West Coast, you will understand when I tell you the party started at 5:30, so naturally we showed up at 6:45. Yeah. Everyone was there and they'd gotten way into the pork loin already. Fortunately there was enough for us, still.

I did not overindulge and blow my Weight Watchers, in case anyone was worried sick. I had one tiny medallion of pork, and these balls of cheese, spinach and some bread product that I'm certain Gwynneth Paltrow wouldn't be caught dead eating, but man, was it good. Oh, and one chocolate truffle. I recorded it all. The truffle was one point.

And by the way, did you know Weight Watchers counts sex as one activity point?

Also, I had my first experience of small-town, everyone-knows-your-bidness sort of a thing.

Last week, a pharmaceutical company in Raleigh called me, wanting to interview me for a proofreader position. If I got the job, it'd mean I'd move to Raleigh now and Marvin would come along after the school year. The interview was scheduled for Thursday, so I told the rector, my boss, that I would come in on Friday this week instead of Thursday. "Okay!" he said, "What fun thing are you gonna do on Thursday?"

Okay, I am not going to lie to a man of the cloth. I mean, I am not that religious, but come on. You are going to the bowels of hell's hinges for lying to a priest. So I told him.


If you think everyone at that party didn't ask me about the interview (I didn't even go! I canceled it because it was a contract position, and I thought why am I moving away for a job with no benefits?), and tell me I simply had to stay in Tiny-Town, and that if I needed gay men friends, they all knew of some and they'd hook me up.

I do not even know how they knew I missed gay men. I guess someone read my blog.

Anyway, I really do heart these people. They are great. Not one person here consults a pet psychic, or has told me what they are in therapy for, or has an agent. It is refreshing and delightful and if we do move away this year, I will be remain friends with some of these folks forever.

Oh, and also? I keep forgetting to tell y'all I cut off ALL MY HAIR and it is really, seriously short and it looks cute as hell and everyone told me so last night and I simply must get a photo up for you. Currently I am in my green robe with the pink ball tassels and a green towel on my head, so a photo right now would not be pretty.

A Doggie Miracle

Well, you are not even gonna believe this. I have been feeling like crap, absolute crap, about Meadow. The other night I woke Marvin Gardensalad up at like 3 a.m. I was sobbing. I said, "Can you reach around me and put your hand on my heart? It just hurts so much."

So he did, because he is a nice husband. Then, two seconds later, he tried to feel me up.

Now, folks, seriously. Why can't men learn that there is a TIME and a PLACE for these sorts of activities?

At any rate, in the midst of all my sadness, I talked to my Aunt Kathy, who said, "You know what you need to do? You need to put it out there in the universe, in present tense, that Meadow has been adopted by a loving family. Just say it out loud and get it out there."

I know I am totally making it sound like my Aunt Kathy smokes the ganja and lives in a commune in Topanga Canyon, but actually she is a middle-aged woman in Vermont. But she did just read The Secret.

So, yesterday I did it. Meadow_16I said out loud, as I sobbed, "Thank you for giving Meadow a good home, with a fenced-in yard, to a loving family who will really care for her."

Today I got an email from one of my faithful readers, Sid Leavitt, who has a readers and writers blog, and who once gave me a nice writeup about my own personal self and my blog. He was particularly taken with how I say classy things like "my own personal self."

Well, GUESS WHAT? He and his wife were willing to drive FIVE HUNDRED MILES to come adopt Meadow. They live in a house, with a fenced-in yard. They had a dog who looked something like Meadow, and she died a while back, and they were really devastated about it. When they saw Meadow's picture the other day, they were smitten. (And could you ignore that piece of black Ruby fur to Meadow's left, there, in the photo? Thanks. Her asthma makes her shed like the Dickens. What does that phrase MEAN?)

So, I called the Humane Society, and if no one adopts her before next weekend,  Marvin and I are going to pick her up, and we are driving halfway to meet Sid Leavitt and his wife!

Meadow will have it made; Sid is retired and his wife is going to retire soon, too. So someone will always be there to love her, and walk her and watch her run around the yard and see if her other ear ever gets straight.

I don't know about you, but I am grinning like a possum eatin' poo off a hairbrush. I just learned that phrase today.